Morning Rundown: Tuesday, July 27
It’s Tuesday, July 27. The search is ongoing for 16-year-old Faith Moore, who was swept away by floodwaters Saturday. Verde Valley fire personnel initially searched for Moore near the Camino Real and Highway 260. Cottonwood Police once again asked volunteers to gather earlier this morning to assist in search efforts. Yavapai County Sheriff’s officials say air surveillance and K-9 units have been deployed, along with a request for off-duty deputies to look through debris.
Evacuation Orders Lifted In Navajo County As Flooding Subsides
Water levels in the Winslow Levee declined on Monday, eliminating immediate threats of flooding, according to a Navajo County spokesperson. It comes after widespread flooding prompted road closures and evacuation orders over the weekend. The county on Monday lifted evacuation orders for residents downstream of Millet Swale near Taylor. Sandbag supplies remain available at the Winslow Visitor Center and the city’s public works building.
Soil Still Waterlogged After Flooding In Flagstaff
Damage assessments are continuing for Flagstaff neighborhoods in the Museum Fire Burn Area after severe flooding earlier this month. Coconino County officials estimate up to 700,000 sandbags have been placed throughout the city to divert floodwaters between 2019 and 2021. The National Weather Service forecasts a 26% chance of precipitation today in Flagstaff, while Flash Flood Warnings expired Monday for areas including Doney Park, Sawmill, Fort Defiance, and north of Twin Arrows.
Despite the downturn in precipitation, the NWS says flood risk is still possible as soil remains saturated with rainfall. Data released this morning shows Arizona has entered the 98th percentile for soil moisture compared to the rest of the country.
Hopi Tribe Reports Uptick In COVID Cases, Aid Groups Stay Busy
Hopi tribal officials have reported an increase in COVID-19 cases on the reservation, reporting 25 active cases on Friday, July 23 over a two-week period. In previous weeks, the tribe confirmed as few as two active cases within the same time frame. Grassroots groups, meanwhile, are continuing to provide prevention and relief strategies. The Hopi Emergency Relief Fund says it’s providing portable handwashing stations to bolster safety at events on the reservation. Meanwhile, the organization Navajo and Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief says it’s preparing to launch a community center next month in Monument Valley.
After Delay, AZ Prepares For Redistricting
Public hearings are on tap this week in Coconino County as an Ariz. commission works to redraw congressional and legislative districts. The Independent Redistricting Commission will hold a meeting at Yavapai College in Prescott Tuesday evening. Another hearing is slated at the Lake Havasu City Civic Center Wednesday, along with the NAU High Country Conference Center in Flagstaff Thursday, and the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock Friday. Satellite locations will be open in Page, Tuba City, Kingman and Congress. Census data is used to determine the redistricting process; full 2020 census figures are set to be released by mid-August after delays inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Data published earlier this year, however, eliminates any chance for the state to add a congressional seat due to insufficient population growth.
Hogan Project Kicks Off In Tse Bonito
Navajo Nation officials say construction has started on a hogan prototype in Tse Bonito, New Mexico. It’s part of an initiative meant to bolster housing options on the Nation, particularly for veterans, according to tribal officials. President Jonathan Nez’s office says the prototype involves a 1,200-square-foot hogan with two bedrooms, though other models for larger households are involved.
Nez says the tribe aims to launch local manufacturing facilities on the Navajo Nation.
“By having regionalized housing manufacturing facilities that use our resources and by employing our Navajo people in the construction process, we can lower those costs and build more homes,” he said.